social media

Apple CEO Tim Cook is taking on social media, search companies over data collection.

Apple CEO Tim Cook has launched a devastating critique of social media and search companies and their data collection practices.

The Apple boss in a speech last week said the huge amounts of personal data collected by social media and other tech companies is harming society. According to The Verge:

Cook said that modern technology has led to the creation of a “data-industrial complex” in which private and everyday information is “weaponized against us with military efficiency.” He added that this mechanism doesn’t just affect individuals, but whole societies.

“Platforms and algorithms that promised to improve our lives can actually magnify our worst human tendencies,” said Cook. “Rogue actors and even governments have taken advantage of user trust to deepen divisions, incite violence, and even undermine our shared sense of what is true and what is false. This crisis is real. It is not imagined, or exaggerated, or crazy.”

He also, according to the Washington Post, singled out social media companies for fanning the flames of political division. The Post reports:

In a searing critique of Silicon Valley — delivered from the well of the European Parliament in Brussels — Cook began by emphasizing he remains optimistic that “new technologies are driving breakthroughs in humanity’s greatest common projects.”

But the Apple leader expressed alarm about divisive political rhetoric that proliferates on social media platforms, and rogue actors and governments that seize on algorithms to “deepen divisions, incite violence, and even undermine our shared sense of what is true and what is false.”

The Post reports the Cook had praise for the European Union for its recently implemented data protection law.

He repeated calls for tougher laws protecting data in an interview with CNN. According to the network:

In an interview with CNN’s Christiane Amanpour at an Apple Store in Brussels, Cook pushed for comprehensive privacy legislation. He argued that big-pocketed corporations have created surveillance operations that promote profit over customers’ ability to control their own information.
“You have more information in your devices than in your own home,” he said. “All of this information that is out there is too much. It is just too much. It should not exist.”

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